New vegan film They’re Trying to Kill Us explores the intersections of diet, poverty, and systemic racism. The film (previously titled Hungry for Justice) is a collaboration between John Lewis—the Black vegan activist behind media brand Bad Ass Vegan, fitness expert, and partner at vegan protein company VeganSmart—and director Keegan Kuhn, who co-directed popular vegan documentaries What The Health and Cowspiracy.
Earlier this year, Lewis announced the addition of executive producers, muscial artist Billie Eilish and NBA star Chris Paul, on The Exam Room Podcast by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “I can actually announce now our executive producers are two amazing people within the vegan community: one being Chris Paul, who has been very vocal with social justice issues and veganism,” Lewis said. “The second one is Billie Eilish, who has also been very vocal about social justice and veganism. So, I’m very excited, man.”
The film explores the profitable systems set up to keep Black Americans disproportionately affected by chronic illness by highlighting themes related to food deserts, links between poor nutrition and the pharmaceutical industry, and environmental racism, all through the lens of hip-hop culture.
A vegan film with a powerful message
Lewis and Kuhn have been working on They’re Trying to Kill Us for more than four years, researching and collecting data, filming, and interviewing more than 100 people, including music legends such as Ne-Yo, Mýa, Raury, and members of Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy, along with vegan doctors, attorneys, and social-justice activists. They’re Trying to Kill Us also features Eric L. Adams, the first vegan mayor of New York City. “We are connecting the dots between diet, disease, systemic racism, government, and industry collusion, and the power of art and artists to transform the world,” Lewis said.
The film raised initial funding through an Indiegogo campaign which was also launched to gain public support. “I believe that They’re Trying to Kill Us is too controversial for mainstream outlets and so we’re asking for your support in getting this film out to the world,” Kuhn said.
“The challenge of producing this film is that we must have the support of the community to ensure that this film, and message, gets to reach the actualization of creating massive transformation to the global society,” the filmmakers said. “We have to achieve this together as one, and your support is the reason we will continue to see this success come to be.”
The film is now available for download through its website and proceeds raised will go to support various animal-rights and social justice organizations.
For more about veganism and social justice, read:
Ben & Jerry’s, Colin Kaepernick Release Vegan Flavor To Fight for Racial Justice
Vegan Racing Champ Lewis Hamilton on Racism: “Please Do Not Sit In Silence”
9 Ways To Support Black Vegan Activists Right Now